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protect your family... and launch your dreams. at we put the law on your side. tomorrow night, we'll see the president on one of the great stages of american politics. the state of the union. it's a chance to unite the country and talk about the core values of issues that should bring us together. but some people are on the other side of the aisle and doing the exact opposite. in a brand new interview, the ceo of fox news says the president likes to divide people in middle groups. he's by si trying to get everybody to hate identify other. really? the president, a divider? that's not the guy most of us
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have been watching. he's not the one questioning the patriotism and even the political ship of his opponents. he never said that beating opponents was his top political authority and he didn't hatch a blot to bring them down on the very first night of his inauguration. no, mr. president, ig naur the head of fox news and go for united american. bring us to a place of hope and a place of action. we'll do our job. we'll keep trying to keep the fox out of the hen house. pun intended. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now.
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new pope. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this stunning news today that the head of the 1.2 billion person roman catholic church is retiring at the end of the month. this is the first time in many centuries that a pope has done anything like this. well, the question is whether a new pope to be elected in the next two or three weeks can refine church doctrine on matters like birth control, the role of women. can he correct and meet certainly head on the scandals that have besieged and enraged the catholic church in the u.s. and in ireland and other countries? tonight i will tell you what i think. i know who the front runner is right now and what we can expect of him. and let's face it, the election of a pope is a political as well as a spiritual undertaking. ambition and humility both play their roles. the stakes, who will lead the church for the years ahead, probably for our lifetimes. it's going to matter and not just to catholics. i'm joined by melinda henneberger and e.j. dionne. here is my pick, cardinal angelo scola, just barely young enough
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to make it. the biggest thing he has going in his favor, the pope wants him, and there are a lot of voting cardinals who owe the pope. a majority were picked by the fellow right there, his holiness. about 56%, close to the two-thirds needing to win. he's italian, that always helps. he's european. 62, a majority are from europe. you know how political i'm getting here? i'm just starting here, melinda. this is a political enterprise. it's a secular event, and it's an election, very democratic. my bet is that this pope wants a quick election because he has a
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successor, and he wants that successor to be his guy scola from milan. your thoughts? >> i agree with you that i think scola is the most likely outcome, but i do not see benedict as trying to have a big impact on the election because i really think that of the people who are possible to take on this role, there's very little difference on them -- among them on policy, on what would come next, on, as you said, things like contraception, ordination of women. all the people in the running would be quite orthodox leading the orthodox catholic church, so i really don't think that he's going to get very involved in -- >> you are so pessimistic here. i want to go to e.j. now because there's two good things that can happen. i'm a progressive on catholic issues and all kinds of issues. you are, too, e.j. i think melinda is, too. one, we get a guy like scola who turns out to be more liberal
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than the pope thinks, and second, some way out candidate we never heard of perhaps from italy -- that's where the liberals come from -- comes forth and offers himself up, and we pull a big surprise because scola can't put it together. >> let's stipulate we would probably pick a nun. >> i spent a lot of time last week with my late aunt agnes' friends in the convent. i would rather they pick the next pope. >> i think it would be a good thing. >> they are good people, and they have good values, and they believe in a vow of poverty, and they live by it, and they're good people. >> here is the problem with the scola theory. it's not 100% clear to me he is the benedict guy. number two, this isn't like a chicago committeeman saying we're voting for scola and all the hands go up. this is more like the united states senate where every member believes he is entitled to the top job and is as good as the other guys. the other thing i think that -- >> so you don't think the white smoke is going to come up in two or three weeks. >> i think it could take a while. that's the other advantage for scola is also the problem which is the italians don't always stick together. as you know in politics, some of
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the worst fights are within your own camp. >> usually the irish. >> it is often the irish, but, you know, he is a leader, that gives him a power base. it's an important group in the church, but they have had some trouble with some of their politicians -- >> let's talk north america. all politics is local. i want to talk to melinda. is there any chance one of us from this continent would be the next pope? how about marc ouellet, 68, prefect of the congress for bishops, that means he gets to be the gatekeeper for who becomes a bishop around the world. they say he's a bit of a chill, but he makes the top -- the irish betting odds, the bookies in ireland, they bet on him for some reason. >> he's my number two choice. i really do think -- he's very close to the pope. he is an adviser to the pope. he knows everybody by virtue of working in rome, which is very important because some of these people just don't know their fellow cardinals that well. and --
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>> how about his language ability. he can speak english, french, portuguese, spanish. he's got german. it seems to me like german would be pretty good when you're dealing with ratzinger. >> i think if it's going to be someone from north america, it's most likely to be he. i don't see -- i know there's a lot of talk about cardinal dolan and a couple of the other americans -- >> what do you hear about tim dolan? about the archbishop of new york, the head of the catholic bishops in new york. i really like the guy. i think he's a moderate. >> he's very well-known. he ran the north american college there, the place for young american and canadian seminarians, and he's very
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well-liked, but i think he's seen as too american, first of all. having a super power pope really would bother a lot of people from catholic countries around the world -- >> but you know what -- >> and his -- >> he's too american. he's too regular person. let's talk about the policy here. i believe humanae vitae, where pope pius vi came out against birth control, has to be refined. it has nothing to do with murder or death. it's simply a matter of discipline and sexual relations between husband and wife. it seems it has to do more about their relationship. it's about the long relationship between man and woman when they're married. sex is part of that. what is wrong with that morally? i can't find out what's wrong with it. i think the church has never explained that. and i don't think explaining is going to work. >> the majority on pope paul vi's own commission on that agreed with what you just said. i'm sure the three of us completely agree on it, but i just don't think the electors in that room are going to be thinking about the kind of things that we're thinking about. >> every catholic watching this show, and about a third of the people watching this show are catholic, they know they have
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not heard a sermon since the 1950s against birth control. >> public religion research institute that i do some work with, 70% of church going, weekly church going -- >> 70%. >> 70% disagree with the church's teaching on this. so it's clearly true here. it's true throughout western europe. just to go back to the punditry for a second, on the ouellet matter -- >> he's the quebec guy. >> who i should be for. there's a great saying among the folks in the vatican, after a fat pope, a thin pope. after a thin pope, a fat pope. he is too much like benedict, and he might look like benedict light. i'm trying to knock down all the front-runners because i think our best hope for a pope like john xxiii is -- a long -- >> i think a chubby pope would be -- i don't think governor christie is available for this particular line of work, although he's a fellow religious. i want to get back to you, linda. i read your column all the time,
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and i think your values are a tad to my right, a tad or a half a tad. that's all right. i know you're smiling because it's true. let's talk about this. a lot of people who aren't catholic are wondering why we're talking about this. 1.2 billion people in the catholic church. it's a loud church to be heard from, and it tends to be a bulwark of belief. it isn't a pr church. it does what it believes. the question is what it believes. does it have to be refined? the role of women is not the same as the role of women 2,000 years ago in any society. why can't women be priests? >> i would be the first to lead that parade. i'm just saying -- all i'm really saying, there's no daylight between you and me on this issue, but i'm just saying that when, you know, we can impose what we think they should be thinking about and what we think they should be discussing, but i'm just telling you the reality in rome is that that's not on the table. >> the reason i say that is because culturally, it's not a religious thing, culturally,
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sure, jesus called the apostles who were men. today who are the best chefs? a lot of them are men. these roles are different. the women cooked the meals 2,000 years ago. the men cook the best meals today. there are a lot of different roles we play. >> i always tell my daughters the good news is the catholic church will have women priests some day. it might take us 200 years. and i think it's a real shame that these issues get in the way, that they don't take a step forward because when you look at the catholic church, including benedict, they are great on all matters of social justice, and i wish that were louder -- >> most of the new deal came from the church and pope pius. i know all that stuff. they thought liberal was a bad word because they thought it meant capitalist. the important thing this pope has done with all respect for our holy father, he quit. this is remarkable, melinda. he basically -- >> absolutely. >> admitted he was becoming fallible. becoming a person who couldn't make the decisions.
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i'm not speaking in terms of spiritual terms as much as getting up in the morning, dealing with these crises, traveling, walking. these are things he couldn't do anymore and he acknowledged. there's a humility there. >> it's an extraordinary and brave thing, and i'm glad we're getting back before thinking who comes next, who relinquishes power willingly whether it's in government, whether it's in your office? i mean it just doesn't happen. so i think that the irony here, one of them, is that this man who many people associate with the middle ages is going to go down in history as a modernizer because he really showed this modern reality and was the first, you know, even 600 years ago when it happened, it happened to heal a schism. this is happening because he, a,
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sees we're living longer now, but, b, sees for all the incense and candlelight around the papacy, it's also a job, and there are certain requirements of the job, and if you can't do it, what he's saying and voting with his feet, is that you need to leave. >> well said. >> amen. >> i think it shows a lot of humility. in april of 2005 when pope john paul ii died, we broadcasted "hardball" from rome. as we closed our last show from there, let's listen. look at these people standing for hours, day and night, through the avenues of rome, packed together as if they had been caught and crushed in an industrial strength trash compacter. there they stood seeking no edge, plotting no photo opportunity, playing none of the games that people do in politics, in business, in so much of life. this is no publicity stunt or initial stock offering or inside deal or anything but the purest, most obvious, most grandly transparent display of individual devotion. voting with your feet. >> thanks four your wise and warm words. thanks for coming on, and e.j. dionne, mr. america and french
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canadian and all kind of things. dick cheney, from the sublime to the ridiculous. dick cheney can't stand the fact that his side lost the election, dick. that he and his neocons are under assault and in retreat, thank god. he's saying president obama is picking second class people. we'll be right back with the story of dick cheney. also the white party. how did the gop become the home office for conservative whites? a fascinating new story in "the new republic" argues the cause is not overt racism but is based on the pre-civil war southern interpretation of the constitution shared by modern day republicans, you know, secession, nullification. plus, the man who shot osama bin laden, we don't know his name yet and have never seen his face yet, but the member of the s.e.a.l. team who pulled the trigger three times has told his story to "esquire." we've got the author here tonight, phil bronstein.
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let me finish with some thoughts on the stripe of republican dick cheney leads. the kind that would believe in him. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do. but, dad, you've got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands?
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former congresswoman gabrielle giffords is pushing for new gun safety laws. she stars in a new tv ad urging congress to act. >> we have a problem where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school. take it from me, congress must act. >> the ad is airing in the hometowns of the top four congressional leaders. and we'll be right back. welcome back to "hardball." dick cheney is at it again telling wyoming republicans that president obama's national security appointments don't live s pish push fwlarng fwlank if x help us to expand to new markets? hmm gotta admit that's better than a few "likes." i don't have the door code. who's that? he won a contest online to be ceo for the day. how am i supposed to run a business here without an office?! [ male announcer ] fast, reliable deliveries worldwide.
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welcome back to "hardball." dick cheney is at it again telling wyoming republicans that president obama's national security appointments don't live up to the high standards set by the stellar legacy of the bush/cheney years. in cheney's words, quote, the performance now of barack obama
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as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal. frankly, what he has appointed are second rate people. agree or disagree with his politics, john kerry is not a second rate choice for secretary of state. he came close to being the president of the united states. senator kerry as well as senator chuck hagel, both served honorably in vietnam and in combat while dick cheney made sure that he got five different deferments to avoid fighting a war, vietnam, that he loved supporting. so let's take a look at the cheney legacy and see how it stacks up to the president's so-called second rate team. we've got an expert, howard fineman is editorial director of the "huffington post," and joan walsh is editor-at-large of salon. both are msnbc political analysts. dick cheney says the president's national security team is second rate. that's rich coming from the man who did more than anyone to sell the u.s. on a completely unnecessary war. take a look. >> we know with absolute
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certainty he is enriching uranium. we believe he has reconstituted nuclear weapons. i agree we will be greeted as liberators. we learn there was a relationship between iraq and al qaeda that stretched back through most of the decade of the '90s, that it involved training, for example, on bw and cw, that al qaeda sent personnel to baghdad to get trained on the systems. it provided the iraqis providing bomb making expertise to the al qaeda organization. >> where do you learn to be that evil? he sat there and brilliantly conspired. he had judy miller writing the stories for the week. "meet the press," does the alley-oop play.
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acts so avuncular, so sure of himself in his presentation. a lot of middle-of-the-road people bought it. >> just watching that again, chris, was both infuriating and upsetting. we lived through that time. we were lied to, flat out lied to in that way, and for him to say that the president is appointing second-raters, that was first rate bilge. >> good choice of words. >> i can't say more. if that's what first rate is, i'll take the second rate. >> you know, joan, his avuncular fashion, that we now know, that bonding he did with the viewer, i know the trick. it's almost criminal. we, we now know, we now know, talking to whoever he is talking to at the anchor desk, establishing a bond among those reasonable people, all the time pushing this bilge. all the time pushing stuff he had conspired with his chief of staff and whatever his press wing was at the time to feed into "the new york times," feed in the national news so people would say he can't be lying all the time and coming up with great phrases like weapons of mass destruction and intermingling those with chemical or biological or throwing in they have some
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balsam wood airplane that will fly over here with a nuclear bomb and drop it in washington. anything that would get that war started they were willing to say, including sending out general powell with his mission at the u.n. >> it's such an ugly legacy, chris, but, you know, we have been talking about this for four years, five years now -- >> why does he still have an audience in this country on the right? >> i know. >> i want to look on the bright side here. it used to be his every utterance was national news, and he literally faxed a press release to politico and they printed it a couple years ago trashing the president. >> i remember that. how he used to feed politico. >> he's done that over and over. there he is. just with his home state republican party, where he kind of belongs, and i also want to
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point out that his two home state republican senators voted for john kerry. so they don't agree with him that he's a second rate person. he really doesn't have the kind of power that he had before. he's been fully discredited, and yet, yes, we are still going to talk about it when he says things like this because it's so ridiculous to be trashing this president all these years later when he's had a stellar record on foreign policy. >> but you know these babbitts that sit in the audience for people like him. these bergers. you can see them from the rotary club, very polite. i can hear the audience, excellent point. well put, vice president. this second rate -- they all agree, they wouldn't have approved these people. wyoming doesn't deserve this guy. it's a beautiful state. >> i think that maybe dick cheney has a case of drone envy here. >> yeah. >> really? >> well, i mean -- >> go on, sir. >> okay. he's the guy who is used to being attacked by the aclu.
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>> i see. >> you see what i'm saying? actually president obama has got some weapons that dick cheney wouldn't mind having had, and the president -- >> this is getting way too -- pull back. >> and the president has been unafraid to use them. >> right. >> serious point -- >> i get -- >> the republicans spent a generation unhorsing democrats because democrats were, quote, weak on defense. >> they weren't willing to pull the trigger. >> they weren't willing to pull the trigger. barack obama, to the dismay of the aclu, has been perfectly willing to pull the trigger, and he's done it pretty effectively in terms of decimating al qaeda, which was supposedly the original intent of what dick cheney was up to when we invaded iraq. >> the questions still linger about what role dick cheney played in outing valerie plame as the cia officer. patrick fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor, said there is a cloud over him. that's what he said back then. and here is why, according to "time" magazine, quote, though his recollection of other events in the same time frame was lucid and detailed, on at least 20 occasions scooter libby, cheney's chief of staff, could not recall details of his talks with cheney of plame's place of employment or questions the vice president raised privately about wilson's credibility.
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some bush officials wondered whether libby was covering up for cheney's involvement in the leak of plame's identity. joan, i have to tell you, i respect scooter libby in one regard, loyalty at this. he has kept, and it is a strange loyalty, he has never brought cheney into this thing. cheney has been able to use crocodile tears to pretend he cared about the guy. he referred to him as a soldier left on the field. excuse me, there were 4,000 real soldiers left on the field. >> right. >> somehow he comes off as the sympathetic guy when, in fact, this guy wasn't out robbing gas stations. he was doing what the vice president told him to be doing, which was leaking stories to discredit valerie wilson. >> i agree. we were never able to fully make that connection, but that connection has seemed implicit. when your chief of staff is sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role, you do go down in history -- >> and lying about it. >> -- you do go down in history with a cloud over your reputation, but it's a cloud that is accompanied by all the other things we have said here, and, you know, i think howard is right.
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and i think he also did the president a favor because those of us who have been upset about the drone policies, we can't go around calling barack obama cheney-light because now we are really reminded of the source of evil from the white house from that administration. so -- >> you know, we can't compare anybody to dick cheney. by the way, that snarl that he has when he talks with that evil manner of his, and it's this sort of avuncular -- when he snarls, that thing, it's hardly elvis presley snarling either. it's a whole new kind of snarling. when he does that, i got to say, this is just -- thank god a troll occasionally looks like a troll and you can -- look at that way he walks.
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that proud -- >> you know, i get uncomfortable with that language sometimes, chris, maybe because i'm not strong enough to deal with it, but i think what's missing here is that dick cheney is the former vice president, is the guy who propounded his theory of the world, and his republican allies on the hill are not having a serious discussion about foreign policy in defense during these nomination hearings. whether it's hagel or brennan or whatever. they're just taking cheap shots all over the place, and they're not having a serious discussion. >> what -- >> in other words, if dick cheney wants to get in the ball game and have a really serious -- >> you raise this, i have to answer your question. what is the burr in lindsey graham's saddle? >> well -- >> why is he putting a hold on hagel? >> he's not going to put a hold on hagel. that's just -- he's just grabbing his ankles on the way out the door. hagel is going to be confirmed. it's a done deal. john mccain has blessed it. john mccain said he gave the committee enough -- said hagel gave the committee enough information, i'm not going to hold him up on benghazi. i think lindsey graham is there to be the last annoying guy to make sure that hagel keeps whatever promises he made behind the scenes -- >> howard, does this -- >> to carl levin and -- >> the cisco kid may have handed the okay, but poncho is still
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fighting the war. thank you, howard and joan. michele bachmann and the latest conspiracy theory from the far right. we bring it to you for sheer entertainment. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive? a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel. delivering whatever the world needs, when it needs it. ♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say?
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and helps dissolve stains. that's why i recommend polident. [ male announcer ] cleaner, fresher, brighter every day. back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." move over, michele bachmann. remember her witch hunt against hillary clinton's close aide? bachmann back then accused her of helping members of the muslim brotherhood infiltrate the u.s. government. enter former fbi agent turned anti-islam activist john guandolo. his reason for why john brennan should not be cia director? of course, he's a secret muslim. >> he has interwoven his life, professionally and personally, with individuals that we know are terrorists, and he has given them access to not only senior leaders inside the government, but has given them access to the
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national security council, the national security staff. he has brought known hamas and muslim brotherhood operatives into those positions of government. mr. brennan did convert to islam when he served in an official capacity on behalf of the united states in saudi arabia. his conversion to islam was the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him, to recruit him. >> there you have it. john brennan secretly converted to islam while on the job in saudi arabia. he's been helping terrorists, of course, that guy says, get federal jobs ever since. wow. what's wrong with this picture? here is a snapshot of the mississippi supreme court on friday. yes, you are looking at the
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confederate flag right there. so what was that civil war flashback doing atop mississippi's supreme court? here is the story. it's normally a state flag, which bears some resemblance. it was time to break out a fresh one. the new shipment came in a box labeled mississippi state flag, and workers didn't realize it contained confederate flags instead. it took about two hours for someone, anyone, to notice and have it removed. a professor at southern university -- university of southern mississippi scored a punch line. have we seceded already? the execution is faster than i thought. now to texas republican steve stockman and the state of the union guest list. a refresher on steve stockman. this was his reaction. i will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the white house, and even filing articles of impeachment. his guest at the state of the union, ted nugent.
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>> i'll tell you this right now, if barack obama becomes the president in november again, i will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. if you can't galvanize and promote and recruit people to vote for mitt romney, we're done. we'll be a suburb of indonesia next year. we need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in november. >> god. those comments predictably drew the attention of the secret service, thank god, but steve stockman, a member of congress, went ahead and invited nugent to the state of the union address. up next, how did the republican party become the party of conservative white people? well, that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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the road cops suspected of gunning down three in a series of revenge killings was officially charged with murder today. meanwhile, border agents have joined the man hunt. murder charges should come over night in the murder of hadiya pendleton. and in boston, schools still out tomorrow as crews continue to dig out from two feet of heavy snow. back to "hardball." glank blank
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welcome back to "hardball." it's a bold headline on the cover of "the new republic" this week. the republicans, the party of white people, and it's an art -- by the way, its art is a clever ode to the beatles' album, the white album. in this article the author investigates the root of a phenomenon he's been covering on "hardball" and we've been covering, the increasingly white male isolated republican party. he says it's derived from the political strategy of the pre-civil war, pro-slavery vice president john calhoun of south carolina. he writes, quote, this is the politics of nullification, the doctrine nearly as old as the republic itself, which holds that the states, singly or in concert, can defy federal actions by declaring them invalid or simply ignoring them. we hear the echoes of nullification in the venting of anti-government passions and also in campaigns to starve government, curtail voter registration, repeal legislation, delegitimize presidents. sam tanenhaus is with me tonight. he's editor of the "new york times" book review, and willie brown is the former san francisco mayor. thank you so much, sam, and mr. mayor, thank you as well. sam, this is amazing. i love trying to find out our
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roots politically. i wish i could do a television show, in fact, where every time there's a news story, take us back to where it all started, and you did here so beautifully. we have people like rick perry and all across the south mouthing phrases like secession and nullification, and it all goes back to those fights they had in the house and the senate in the 1850s, but you have now pointed out this is now the stripe, sort of the road map the republican party has been taking since way back when. >> well, yes, chris. and great to be here, great to be here with the mayor. there's a terrible historical tragedy and paradox here. in the 1950s, as i say in the piece you read, republicans looked pretty good on civil rights under eisenhower, the brown decision, the central high and little rock where he did the
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tough thing and sent the troops in, and we had the first modern civil rights act. it wasn't great, it wasn't what lbj gave us, but it was something. not one republican voted against that bill. think about it, what's happened. i'll tell you what happened, the conservative movement was born right then, and they decided the road not taken, they were not going to be pro-civil rights. they were not going to defend the rights of citizenship and economic justice and integration of african-americans in the south. no, they were going to side with the southern oppressors, and who was the great philosopher king of that argument? john c. calhoun. what happened? two things. first of all, the party which could have led the way on civil rights, the party of lincoln, turned away from it. also, they gave us this legacy
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of nullification, as you say. this nullifying government that we see today. >> you know, i thought, willie, mayor brown, i thought the smart thing in your piece i had never read before, mr. mayor, and i liked it about the piece in sam's article, was the confluence, a lot of libertarian thinking from barry goldwater, leave me alone, i don't like government. that got tied into states right. if you're an enemy of federal power, you're on my side. a weird, sick marriage between leave me alone and let's get together and nullify civil rights. >> that's essentially what the republican party stands for even today, as a matter of fact. in sam's piece, however, i think there should be a reference to the fact that during the nixon administration, in reality the whole business of set asides, the whole business of what happens with reference to the philadelphia plan, all of that came because a guy named george schultz working for nixon put
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that together, and the republicans had a golden opportunity at that moment to really grab the leadership that lincoln had provided, and by today willie brown may very well be saying positive things about the republicans. >> let's put that to sam. not only that, not only did they create basically affirmative action with the philadelphia plan, the screw the irish, italians, and their unions, they were up to trouble in some extent, going after the union leaders and they're locked out. unless you're nephew of a kid, you're not getting a job there. moynihan gave nixon credit for ending the dual school system. how could they be going in that direction and at the same time playing the southern strategy
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with strom thurmond and those boys? >> that's why the great gary wills said richard nixon was the last liberal, and there is a reference -- willie brown is right, there should have been more. in a longer piece there would be more on that, on the philadelphia plan, but, yes, affirmative action, a phrase originated in the kennedy years, was seized on by the nixon administration. hey, daniel patrick moynihan said about nixon, this guy is not trying to undo the great society, he wants to outdo it. and what happened? ideologues within the conservative movement turned against nixon. >> well -- >> women -- >> let me go to willie brown. i know nixon. i'm not necessarily a nixon hater by any means. he was a member of the naacp in the '50s. pretty friendly with whitney young, getting to know martin luther king ahead of the kennedys. and then becomes a totally mean guy in terms of electoral politics, hooking up with strom thurmond figuring he was going to grab what was left of the segregationists in the south when they were disappointed with the democrats. what happened to this guy? >> i think sam's piece clearly indicates that not only would a politician like nixon find it convenient to go in that direction for potential success, but politicians generally, chris, all of us tend to want to move in a direction that points to success. in sam's piece he talks about how kennedy clearly moved away
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from where he was as a liberal in massachusetts to try to make sure he didn't get tubed as he had been on the vice presidential nomination when he sought the presidential nomination. so we politicians are not like the moral standard on this issue. >> okay. sam, great piece. boy, you put a lot of work into these pieces. that is one heck of a piece of work. it should be a book. why don't you just blow it up and call it a book. >> thanks so much. >> i think it's fabulous. up next, the man who shot osama bin laden is going to -- actually his writer is going to be here, the guy who covered this story. we still don't know what his name is, but we got the whole story from a great reporter who interviewed him. this is really going to be great journalism coming up here. this is "hardball," the place for politics. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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and we want to hear from you. every year the president says the state of the union is, dot, dot, dot. we want to know how you would finish the statement this year. write down your answer, take a picture of yourself holding it up, and send it to us on twitter using #sotuis. see all the submissions and vote for your favorites, and we'll be right back. how do you keep an older car running like new? you ask a ford customer. when they tell you that you need your oil changed you got to bring it in. if your tires need to be rotated, you have to get that done as well. jackie, tell me why somebody should bring they're car here to the ford dealership for service instead of any one of those other places out there. they are going to take care of my car because this is where it came from. price is right no problem, they make you feel like you're a family. get a synthetic blend oil change, tire rotation and much more, $29.95 after $10.00 rebate.
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s.e.a.l. gives chilling details from counting back and forth to a thousand which he did during the 90 minute helicopter ride to abbottabad, and then thinking about a quote from george bush's speech. then storming bin laden's compound and walking through the dark hallway to the third floor. the navy s.e.a.l. says, quote, he looked confused and way taller than he was expecting. he's got a gun within reach and he's a threat. in that second i shot him in the forehead. bap, bap. the second time as he was going down. he crumples onto the floor in front of his bed, and i hit him again, bap. the second time as he's going down, he crumpled in front of his bed. i hit him again. he also talks about his uncertain future, and living in constant fear that his identity could be exposed, even telling his children never to say the name osama bin laden. with me phil bronstein who broke and wrote the story. thank you so much for this. a couple of questions as a journalist and about your trade craft here. how did you find this navy
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s.e.a.l.? how did you id him yourself, and how did you get him to talk? >> well, the finding him really happened through more of a social contact. we had some mutual friends. they talked to me before i ever met him, he and i had a number of phone conversations where i still didn't know who he was. i knew what he had done. and then gradually a trust developed, and we started talking more and more. i met him face-to-face. those kinds of meetings happened probably dozens of times. and then this really took place over a year and a quarter. >> how long did it take for him to open up and actually give you a narrative of killing bin laden? >> i would say that that really the first long narrative happened right after he got out of the service, which was beginning of september. beginning of september last year. >> and you also get confirmation from the point man. there is only two men up on the third floor. and the other guy told someone he was the guy. in fact, the guy you talked to was in fact the shooter. >> yes. the point man talked to people.
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the point man hasn't really talked publicly at all, probably never will from what i understand of the point man. but there were dinners, chris, a week after the mission with people, s.e.a.l.s who were on the mission and the shooter talking very openly about what had happened. i talked to a variety of people, civilians and military who were at that dinner. there is a mentor i talk about in the story who is an older retired co who went on to blackwater and the cia got a call from a very high government level official several hours after the raid saying it was your guy. >> now this fellow, we're not going to use his name because we don't know it. you didn't put it in the piece in any way. this fellow also has killed 30 people in combat. so how does this fit into his record in his conscience, doing his duty, getting the bad guys? i thought it was wonderful he talked about what george w. said after 9/11, this that is something we have to defend our country. this has to be dealt with as a very moral obligation on our country's part. but how does he deal with all this killing? >> well, i think he deals with
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it through struggling, as all these guys do. one of the points of this piece, and one of the points of the piece that he and i agreed would be the context of the piece was not just the raid. it's what happens to these guys afterwards. not a pretty picture, oftentimes. abandoned somewhat by the government. not absorbed in the private enterprise system in any way that they should be, considering all the skills that they have. so that was the kind of context of the piece. and he is a guy who wanted to portray the human side of that. so there is a story in there about his wife finding him with a bottle of ambien pills and his gun and his pistol one night, contemplating suicide. >> yeah. the thing is about how he wanted to be a sniper. he is a good shot, obviously. he is very effective. what is a sniper supposed to do when he leaves the service? what is the next -- what is the plan prepare you for in making a living, which you have to do because he didn't get a
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retirement. >> chris, keep in mind, there are a lot of snipers in the military. aside from being a sniper, he is a navy s.e.a.l. and aside from being a navy s.e.a.l., he is s.e.a.l. team 6. it's the highest level of training, the highest level of classification, the highest secrecy level there is. so he learns all sorts of things. he has been doing it for 16 years. so he learns resolve. he learns patience. he learns grace and decision making under pressure. he learns all the things, in other words, that many of our ceos would love to have. >> so you think he could find a way to transition into something peaceful? >> well, yes, but this has to be a mechanism for transferring. so i talked to the ceo of twitter, and jeff clark who is the chairman of orbitz in san francisco and basically both said we would love to help these guys. there are other ceos around the country. i spoke with some in manhattan here the other night. they want to help these guys. they need a mechanism. they need an organizing principle.
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>> the movie "zero dark thirty," when your piece, the former navy s.e.a.l. made reference to an agency woman, he called her, who identified bin laden's body for him, saying, quote, back at the jalalabad base, we pulled bin laden out of the bag. i brought the agency woman over. i still had all my stuff on. we looked down and i asked is this the guy? is this your guy? she was crying. that's when i took my magazine out of the gun and gave to it her as a souvenir. what a moment. >> what a moment. he said do you have room in your backpack for this? and then he didn't see her after that, because they went on to bagram for further information of bin laden's body. >> phil bronstein, fabulous journalism, as you know. >> thank you. thank you, chris. >> you must know how good of work you've done. >> we used to do it together. >> you were a great editor when i serve you'd well. >> you did. >> when i return, let me finish with dick cheney's ongoing record of, let's face it, being wrong. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. today is gonna be an important day for us. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do?
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Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC February 11, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

News/Business. (2013) (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Dick Cheney 15, Hagel 6, Rome 4, Phil Bronstein 4, Advair 4, Melinda 4, Willie Brown 4, San Francisco 3, New York 3, Ford 3, Bap 3, Usaa 3, Wyoming 3, Navy 3, Dot 3, Islam 3, Sam 3, Steve Stockman 3, Philadelphia 3, Osama Bin 3
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